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Q:  

I need to know what the boundaries of metropolitan areas were at the time of the 2000 census. How are metropolitan areas defined? As an example, I need to know Albuquerque, New Mexico, Atlantic-Cape May, New Jersey, and Chicago, Illinois.

A:  

These metropolitan areas are defined on the basis of counties. A source for all metropolitan area definitions can be found here:

http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/metro-city/99mfips.txt

Notice, that New England metropolitan areas are defined on the basis of towns, which means that only parts of a county is in the metropolitan area. Some researchers use county-based metropolitan areas for New England. These are called New England County Metropolitan Areas and Components (NECMAs).

http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/metro-city/99nfips.txt

The Office of Management and Budget has changed how metropolitan areas are defined and these designations change as county populations grow and/or exhibit commuting ties to the core city. Thus, for post-2000 definitions, refer to:

http://www.census.gov/population/metro/data/pastmetro.html.

Finally, to answer your direct question about the definition of these 3 metropolitan areas. Albuquerque (0200) is comprised of Bernalillo (001), Sandoval (043) and Valencia (061) counties.

Atlantic-Cap May, New Jersey (0560) is comprised of Atlantic (001) and Cape May (009) counties.

Chicago (1600) is comprised of Cook(031), DeKalb(037), Du Page(043), Grundy(063), Kane(089), Kendall(093), Lake(097), McHenry(111), and Will(197) counties.

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